SINGAPORE: An employer who was disappointed with her domestic helper took to social media, sharing about the entire ordeal when her maid ran away, leaving her wheelchair-bound father without any help.

In an anonymous post to a support group for domestic helpers and employers alike, the woman said that her helper woke up and suddenly said she wanted to leave. She also packed all her bags. Her employer asked for more time to find a new helper because her elderly father is wheelchair-bound. The helper refused to work, so her employer told her to take the day off and resume the next day. The helper suddenly ran off.

“I can’t even express my disappointment. She and her aunt convinced me to hire her without the agency so she gets her full wage from Day 1. She lied about her ability to cook so we taught her slowly, she ate before my mother and left her nothing for dinner yet she was never scolded. Despite explaining things to her, she left Dad at home while we were away at work”, the woman wrote.

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She added that because the family had CCTV cameras at home, they would be able to prove that the maid was not abused. The employer said that the helper came, tried out the job and decided she did not want it. “Forget her responsibilities as an employee, we’ve treated her so well yet she couldn’t even be a decent human being. My father’s discharge from hospital was on the condition that he has a helper at home which is the only reason we got one”, the woman wrote.

“I appreciate an NGO’s efforts to help ill-treated helpers, it’s much needed but I would have expected some form of impartiality. So the helper runs to HOME because she has ‘changed her mind about working’ and now I’m forced to take days off work to care for my sick parent? Is there any protection to employers then? Or I’m expected to let her go simply because she wants to? I’m so exhausted”, the woman wrote in her post.
Some netizens commented that she had problems because the maid was a direct hire, but others disagreed with this. Here’s what they wrote:

Earlier this year, a foreign domestic helper ran away with her boyfriend after working for only three months, leaving her employer with the burden of paying the remainder of her loan to the agency. In an anonymous post to a Facebook group about the working conditions of domestic helpers, the maid’s employer asked others for help and advice. The employer wrote that the maid had worked with them for three months and added that her main task on weekdays was to look after their nine-month-old child. She added that she had two other children in the upper primary, but they were sent to childcare after school.

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The woman added that her mother or mother-in-law would stay over sometimes, especially if her children were unwell, to assist her helper. She explained that her helper would only clean the house on weekends when she was home so that she would take over the duty of looking after her children. When it came to working conditions, the woman said that she allowed her maid to use her phone at night, but the maid had to return it to her the next morning. Her maid would often nap when her baby slept in the afternoon, but she did not scold her for that, the woman added.

Maid runs away with her boyfriend after working for only 3 months, employer gets angry that they have to repay her balance loan to the agency